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  1. #1
    Valued member of Brit-Gen. *bunty*'s Avatar
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    Default Baptism John CRAM

    I am yet to find a baptism for my 2 x great grandfather, John CRAM, born 1850/1 in St Ninians, Stirlingshire. He was an illegitimate child born to Mary Buchanan, weaver, and Thomas Cram, stone quarrier (although Thomas Cram had married Helen Patton by the time John Cram was born). Together Mary Buchanan and Thomas Cram also had a daughter Elizabeth Cram. born abt 1846.

    Is it possible that because these children were illegitimate they were not baptised? I have checked under the mother's maiden name Buchanan, and cannot see them there either. I know they were born and existed, and are on the 1851 census under the surname of Cram, living with their mother Mary Buchanan. I read something about Kirk Sessions, and this may be a place that I find out more, as they may have been admonished by the church for having illegitimate children. Is there any way of accessing Kirk Sessions online - Scotland's a little too far away for me to visit! Any help would be appreciated. These are the only Scottish ancestors I have so I am somewhat of a beginner .

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by *bunty* View Post
    I am yet to find a baptism for my 2 x great grandfather, John CRAM, born 1850/1 in St Ninians, Stirlingshire. He was an illegitimate child born to Mary Buchanan, weaver, and Thomas Cram, stone quarrier (although Thomas Cram had married Helen Patton by the time John Cram was born). Together Mary Buchanan and Thomas Cram also had a daughter Elizabeth Cram. born abt 1846.

    Is it possible that because these children were illegitimate they were not baptised? I have checked under the mother's maiden name Buchanan, and cannot see them there either. I know they were born and existed, and are on the 1851 census under the surname of Cram, living with their mother Mary Buchanan. I read something about Kirk Sessions, and this may be a place that I find out more, as they may have been admonished by the church for having illegitimate children. Is there any way of accessing Kirk Sessions online - Scotland's a little too far away for me to visit! Any help would be appreciated. These are the only Scottish ancestors I have so I am somewhat of a beginner .
    Have you found the sister's baptism? If not, are you sure that they were Church of Scotland and not one of the non-conformists? If the latter, they may not appear on the iGI/Scotlands People as these are both based on the registers of the Kirk. You should also check GENUKI and see whether the relevant registers have survived.
    You're quite right about the Kirk Sessions, but the survival of their minutes is fairly fragmentary. You may be lucky. If they survive, they'll either be in the National Archives for Scotland (as may be any relevant non-concormist registers) or the local archives (in which case they'll still be listed in the NAS catalogue). There's a post about search NAS at the head of the general Scottish Forum.

    If you find them in the catalogue, you can ask them to sell you copies (whether or not they're willijg depends on the condition of the coument but I know they've been scanning the church documents). Otherwise, you may have to get a professional to go in and look - it needn't be expensive if you only want specific lookups rather than a whole tree. Scots Origins do a lookup service, I believe.
    Which name did he use on his marriage cert?
    Lesley

  3. #3
    Valued member of Brit-Gen. *bunty*'s Avatar
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    Have you found the sister's baptism?
    No I haven't. I looked for that also. I am unsure whether they were Church of Scotland, but I do know their mother married Robert Corser in 1861 and on the marriage document it says they were "married at St Ninians, Stirling, after banns according to the ______ of the Free Church of Scotland. Is this the Church of Scotland?

    Genuki didn't mention registers for St Ninians. I will have a look around on the Net and see if I can find more. I will also check out the other suggestions. I may need to pay someone to find out more - just not right now with the state of the Australian dollar .


    Which name did he use on his marriage cert?
    John's marriage was registered in Leeds, Yorkshire 1874 as John Cramcorser. His death is registered as John Cramb CORSER in Leeds, 1878. His father on his marriage cert is listed as Robert Cramcorser (in reality his name was Robert Corser, his stepfather). Robert Corser was living with John's family as a lodger in the 1861 census and married Mary Buchanan later that year. When John's children were born they were all Corser, not a Cram(b) in sight. He has proven a tricky man to track down and lived such a short life - he was dead before his last child was born - my great grandad.

  4. #4
    Beloved Friend R.I.P. v.wells's Avatar
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    If your John Cram was the illegitimate child of Mary Buchanan then he would be John Buchanan not Cram?
    Sadly, our friend Vanessa, passed away 29th. February 2012.

    Life is brief. Time is a thief.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by *bunty* View Post
    No I haven't. I looked for that also. I am unsure whether they were Church of Scotland, but I do know their mother married Robert Corser in 1861 and on the marriage document it says they were "married at St Ninians, Stirling, after banns according to the ______ of the Free Church of Scotland. Is this the Church of Scotland?

    Nope, this is one of the non-conformist, extra strict Churches. They formally split from the CoS in 1843, after years of bickering, etc. In 19th century Scotland, splititng the churches became pretty much a national sport.
    That explains why they're impossible to find on Scotlands People/IGI. Some Ministers recorded all bap/mar in their parish, some only recorded the Church of Scotland events... To make things worse, people often didn't marry in church, the Minister would come to a house. This was especially true of the Frees who were frequently unpopular with landowners, etc. Does it say who the Minister was? If you have his name, it should be able to confirm where his church was.

    One of my ancestral couples joined the Free Church in Kirriemuir (I think her family were already in, and he joined when they married). I was lucky enough to find that Church's register in NAS - it was a very fragile cheap exercise book with very short entries. As a contribution to my OPS, someone sent me their transcriptions of another Free Church registers which were quite informative, so it's obviously a matter of luck. NAS has been scanning their Church-related material for the last couple of years, but at the moment only their catalogue is on line. If you can find the register in their catalogue, you can ask to buy a printout or get someone to go in and check it for you. Some professionals are happy to do lookups and only charge by the hour.

    There's a sticky about searching NAS at the top of the General Scottish forum.

    Lesley

  6. #6
    Valued member of Brit-Gen. *bunty*'s Avatar
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    If your John Cram was the illegitimate child of Mary Buchanan then he would be John Buchanan not Cram?
    You would assume so wouldn't you? They appear in the 1851 census together with Mary Buchanan as the mother and the two children Elizabeth Cram and John Cram. Elizabeth is married with her surname as Cram. John is married with his surname as Cramcorser (although usually written as Cramb Corser). I have checked Scotlandspeople for Buchanan births, but I suspect they were not the Church of Scotland, judging by what Lesley has said. I have done a little reading into St Ninians and there was an uprising of sorts against a certain minister in the late 18th century. A relief church was formed as parishioners deserted the church in protest.

    I took a look at the NAS and nothing popped out. I did have a child harassing me at the time, so I will look again today while there is a bit of peace .

  7. #7
    A fountain of knowledge Mary Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v.wells View Post
    If your John Cram was the illegitimate child of Mary Buchanan then he would be John Buchanan not Cram?
    From 1855 onwards, an illegitimate child would be registered under the mother's name (unless the father acknowledged paternity by signing the Register). Pre-1855, many old parish registers did not record the child's surname, the entry would be in the form "John, illegitimate son of Robert Cram and Mary Buchanan".
    In either case, whatever the surname in the Register, the mother could please herself in daily life. She could - and often did - use the father's surname for the child.
    For example, a grandmother "Mrs Mackay" and three illegitimate grandsons via two of her daughters. All three boys were registered as "Mackay" but in the 1881 census they are "John McLeod", "James Mackenzie" and "Donald Sutherland".
    Go figure!

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